Lifeguard, 61, Fired After Rejecting Speedo

He calls it age discrimination
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 18, 2011 3:31 PM CDT
File photo: This isn't the Long Island lifeguard, but it's a close approximation of what he didn't want to wear to work.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – It’s a swim suit: A 61-year-old lifeguard is taking New York state to court over his bathing trunks. Roy Lester says he was fired for refusing to don a Speedo for a yearly swim test, the New York Daily News reports. He preferred to wear a less revealing bathing suit. “I wore a Speedo when I was in my 20s," he says. "But come on. There should be a law prohibiting anyone over the age of 50 from wearing a Speedo."

He argues that the Long Island beach where he worked was using the rule to shed its older lifeguards—though 80% of them are over 40, he estimates. “They were just trying to get rid of the older guys. To me the whole key to being a good lifeguard is experience. An older guy sees a save before anyone else. You know the water." Indeed, “I could have passed that test”—a 100-yard swim in less than 75 seconds—“in dungarees.” (Click to see a photo of Lester in non-Speedo trunks.)

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